Well, I am very fortunate this week to be attending the congress here in Montreal. Luckily I was able to get a volunteer position with IDF and I am having such an amazing time! So much so, that I'm not looking forward to seeing this all end on Thursday as I've never felt so connected to people that know what diabetes is all about. It's truly an amazing experience for me, and something I doubt I will ever forget (anyone want to sponsor me for the 2011 IDF Diabetes World Congress taking place in Dubai?)
I have met up with one other diabetic that has had diabetes longer then myself (50 years compared to my 41) and we've been exchanging how we deal with our disease. Along with doctors, nurses, and others in the medical field, it's been an amazing experience so far. Learning how they deal with diabetic patients and they have been learning about my experiences with diabetes over the years since I was diagnosed in 1968. Along with learning how they deal with diabetic patients in their areas of expertise, makes me still kick myself, wishing I'd continued on with my education instead of the university of life! As Dr. Enrique José Medina Sandino, President of the Fundación Nicaraguense para la Diabetes in Nicaragua pointed out to me, I am doing fine at what I do in helping people via Diabetes1.org and other websites that I frequent on the world wide web.
What I'm finding abit sad about this congress is that regular folks like myself that are interested in taking care of our health can't really attend this conference. It's a very expensive thing to do, even for a day pass. If more people like myself, not in the professional field were able to attend at a reasonable rate, then the world would be their oyster, in obtaining information to make their lives better with this disease. I just know at this point in time, and this is only the 2nd of 5 days for me, that I am emotionally effected, in a good way, of what I am taking in. This is my first diabetic related event I've ever been to in my life, and I am just overwhelmed by it. Hard to put in words, but I just know that I will end up with a few friendships that will hopefully last awhile along with many valuable new ideas in my approach to dealing with diabetes!
A couple of guys that have been a delight to meet are Jim and Richard from California. They are part of the Desert Dingo Racing offroad race team, driving a Class 11 (Stock VW). This little reeved up engine of a beauty (shook the windows abit in the hall before the battery was disconnected) is the official World Diabetes Day race car. Richard has had diabetes for I believe 13 years now due to contact with Agent Orange during his years in Vietnam, and we talked about the ups and downs of dealing with diabetes. He is actually grateful that diabetes is all he has experienced from his exposure to this substance, others have suffered worse consequences and death, sigh. Anyway, it has been great to shoot the breeze with someone that knows what diabetes is all about! I'm planning on showing them some better places to eat that won't blow our carb count out of this world and also try to encourage them that they need a femme fatale such as myself on the team (they've been invited to Qatar)! I'll work my charms on them over a good mug of microbrewed beer!
Below is the The World Diabetes Day Official Car. I got to get strapped into this baby (thanks Jim - you know how to strap up a gal fine for safety reasons) ! Too bad the battery was disengaged - otherwise - I would have taken it out for a spin! Whoo! Whoo!
Well, that's about it for now, I'm knackered, but I'll be back when I can, with more information to share with you all! Having been on my feet each day from 0700 - 1800 has been something I'm not used to since I'm usually here at my desktop typing out my sponge brain thoughts to you. I'm having to lower my basal rates on my insulin pump, as I use the stairs to get around the Palais du Congress where the congress is being held as I'm experiencing a few hypos. I'm prepared for them - as the rest of the IDF volunteer team mates are as well as they are all in the medical profession and have knowledge of diabetes - though I am teaching them a few new tricks that work for myself. I should be in shape for the 5K Walk/Run on Thursday - still working on a room to stay in for the night before - so I can be bright eyed and bushy tailed for the 0645 event!